Alaska Bill Would Grant Pets Greater Legal Protection

pawsupPaws Up!

To Alaska House Representative Liz Vazquez for introducing a bill that would grant companion animalsgreater legal protection in the state of Alaska.

While most of us do not think of our companion animals in terms of being “personal property,” that is precisely how companion animals are still viewed in many cases heard by state and county courts. In

H.B. 147 would provide protection under restraining orders to pets of domestic violence victims.

H.B. 147 would provide protection under restraining orders to pets of domestic violence victims.

Alaska, a recently introduced H.B. 147 would not stop the law from viewing animals as property – but if passed, it would grant a higher legal protection for animals. For one, the bill introduced this spring by Rep. Liz Vazquez would require citizens convicted of animal cruelty or neglect to personally pay for the care provided to animals seized from their property. The bill

would also include animals in domestic violence protection orders. In civil cases involving divorce, the bill would create a statute requiring judges to consider the best interest of the animal when ruling on issues of ownership.

Take action. Residents of Alaska, contact your representatives and ask them to support H.B. 147, and other legislation that protects companion animals from violence and neglect.

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New York Outlaws Pet Piercing and Tattoos; New Jersey May Follow.

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To New York for outlawing the cosmetic piercing and tattooing of dogs, cats, and other pets in the state.

According to a recent news article, New York has banned the cosmetic piercing and tattooing of pets. It is an unfortunate reality that such a law would even be necessary, but when a woman in Pennsylvania was found advertising “gothic” kittens with piercings and amputated tails online, two lawmakers in New York introduced a bill to ban the practice. Governor Cuomo signed the bill into law in December. Only piercings or tattoos with a medical benefit will be permitted when the law goes into effect in the spring of 2015. Violators could be punished with a 15-day jail sentence and a fine up to $250. Legislators in New Jersey have also introduced a similar bill to prevent the painful and inherently cruel practice in their state.

Take Action: Residents of New York, contact Governor Andrew Cuomo  and thank him for signing this bill into law. Residents of New Jersey, please contact your legislators and ask them to support S2500  which would classify the cosmetic tattooing and piercing of pets as acts of animal cruelty.

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State NYS
State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

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Turkey Reforms Animal Welfare Law

pawsupPaws Up!
To the Grand National Assembly of Turkey for enacting much needed forms to the country’s animal welfare law.

Pet owners in Turkey will be required to verify that they can provide for a new pet.

Turkish pet owners and pet sellers will be expected to prove proper care of animals they own.

According to an article, “Turkey has taken a momentous step for animal welfare: From now on, anyone who owns or sells pets must have a certificate that proves they are able to properly care for the animal and meet all of its basic needs. The Turkish government has also furthered the cause of animal cruelty laws, and has introduced legislation to address the environmental impact of pets as well as the welfare of animals used in experiments.”

Additionally, the reforms ban circuses that involve animals. Also, animal fighting is now considered “purposely ill-treating an animal.”

Take Action: Write to the secretary general of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey congratulating his country’s work on protecting animals. Additionally, make sure your own state, county, and town is doing the best it can to protect animals in your area. Contact your legislators and urge them to ensure the full protection of animals under the law.

Mr. İrfan Neziroğlu, PhD
Secretary General
The Grand National Assembly of Turkey
TBMM 06543 Bakanlıklar Ankara
TÜRKİYE

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Cats should keep their toes.

They're perfect just the way they are.

They’re perfect just the way they are.

Where did my toes goes? Nowhere, if the Massachusetts legislature votes to enact SB 613, a bill that would prohibit landlords from requiring cats to be declawed as a condition of occupancy for renters.

We humans may be inconvenienced by the behavior some of our cats display but that does not give us the right to surgically remove part of their paws, nor does it give a landlord the right to require us to declaw our cat as a condition of tenancy. Declawing involves the surgical removal of the first joint of each of the cat’s toes. As with any surgery, there are risks, including misshapen toes, claws that grow back, and pain at the surgical site. Some of these risks require further surgery. Additionally, the American Veterinary Medical Association believes that declawing is not a medically necessary procedure for cats in most cases.

Massachusetts residents, contact your legislators and encourage them to support SB 613.

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When you think about it…you’re not a mouse, a cat, a guinea pig, or a monkey.

Many drugs tested on animals that are considered safe may not have the same effects on humans.

Many drugs tested on animals that are considered safe may not have the same effects on humans.

Mice, cats, guinea pigs, and monkeys are among some of the animals used in laboratories to test pharmaceuticals to ensure their efficacy and safety for use in humans. There’s just one major flaw. Humans aren’t mice, cats, guinea pigs, or monkeys. So, drugs that may be safe in them can turn out to be harmful to us. For example, a drug trial of an Alzheimer’s vaccine that had been tested on mice had to be stopped because it caused brain inflammation in humans. And drugs harmful to mice, cats, guinea pigs, or monkeys may never get on the market yet may be just the cure that’s needed for a human-related diseases. Tamoxifen caused tumors in rats but fortunately tests were continued and it was found to be an effective drug against some human breast cancers.

Animal testing wastes many lives—not just those of the animals used in experiments but also the lives of humans. Some are harmed by what were considered harmless drugs and other suffer without drugs that could help them because they harmed laboratory animals. When you think about it…you’re not a mouse, a cat, a guinea pig, or a monkey. So why should the drugs you take be tested on them?

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When you think about it…where should companion cats live?

Companion cats that are allowed outdoors are not only at greater risk of harm, but are also likely to harm wildlife.

Companion cats who are allowed outdoors are not only at greater risk of harm, but they are likely to harm other animals.

Do companion cats, as opposed to feral cats, belong indoors or is it okay to let them roam free outdoors? Some people who have cats believe they should be allowed outdoors; it’s more “natural” for them to be outside for part of the day. Others believe the outdoors is unsafe for Fluffy who could be stalked by predators, hit by cars, or stolen by fiendish people. But what about the damage Fluffy can do to the outdoors? Should that be taken into consideration when deciding if companion cats should be indoors or outdoors?

A recent article breaks down the destruction felines do in the outdoors. It’s considerable. Researchers used kittycams to collect data and what they found was alarming. Cats kill just for the sake of killing, not always to eat or bring back trophies to present to their guardians. They are indiscriminate hunters going after birds, frogs, snakes, lizards, and the favorite mice.

So, when you think about it…where should companion cats live? Most likely they should live where the least harm can be done to them and where they can do the least harm—indoors, with maybe a screened enclosure so they can be outside safely.

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Curb Wild Cat Breeding

The Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act would help reduce the number of wild cats owned by private individuals.

The Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act would help reduce the number of wild cats owned by private individuals.

Big cats don’t belong in backyards, traveling circuses, or roadside zoos. HR 1998 and S 1381, Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act, is intended to help curtail the breeding of these big cats for commercial purposes in the United States and, thus, hopefully, reduce the number of wild cats in private ownership.

Exotic animals should not be bred for the commercial trade. They cannot be properly cared for in private homes and often aren’t cared for by so-called wild cat trainers. Additionally, exotic pets pose a dangerous threat to their owners, neighbors, other pets, and livestock. The events in Zanesville, Ohio, prove this, as do past tragedies such as Travis the chimpanzee, who attacked a friend of his owner’s, and a bear near Cleveland, who killed his owner’s employee. These animals remain wild despite living with people and need the type of environment and care that can rarely be provided by individual hobbyists. These animals are also likely to pass zoonotic diseases when kept in close quarters with humans.

Contact your senators and representatives and let them know you want to see HR 1998 and S 1381 brought to the floor for a vote this legislative session.

 

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